Gucci’s latest effort to protect its trademark have caused a social media flurry.

Last week, parent company Kering sent a letter to six shop owners in Hong Kong asking them to stop selling paper offerings that replicate Gucci accessories. As part of an antique Chinese tradition, replicas of objects that the living feel can be desired or needed by the deceased, are burnt and sent to the spirits.

Local and social media reaction was quick to follow. On Facebook, Kwong W Lee wrote: “Lol this is so pathetic. Maybe Gucci should draft a letter to send to the underworld as well.”

“Gucci should burn this letter to their target receivers,” wrote Kirstyn Yau.

“Wrong avenue to pursue infringement of their trademark, now leaving a black mark on their brand! Anyone [who]…buys or intends to buy those goods know[s] well that they are not real. In fact Gucci should feel proud that their ‘products’ are appreciated even in the other world!” wrote Lee Chye Ewe.

Kering issued a release to apologize, underscoring that the group and Gucci “would like to reiterate their utmost respect with regards to the funeral context. We regret any misunderstandings that may have been caused and sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended through our action.”

“The letters were sent as part of our global intellectual property protection efforts. As highlighted in our letters, we trust that the funeral store owners did not have the intention to infringe Gucci’s trademark. Accordingly, we did not suggest any legal action or compensation. We remain committed to working closely within our local communities.”

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